Volunteering: A Key to Success for Our School
As a reminder, volunteer hours are a requirement for each Innovation Montessori Ocoee family (20 hours/family/school year) as part of your commitment to enriching and supporting your children’s education in our outstanding tuition-free public charter school.
The volunteer hour expectations during the fall semester of 2020 has been suspended due to the guidance that we need to limit those on campus to staff and OCPS personnel.
Many studies have shown significant links between parent/family involvement in their child’s school and the overall success of the student. At Innovation Montessori Ocoee, making contributions to our school community offers an important way for families to connect to establish partnerships and lifelong friendships with each other. We see time and time again that parent involvement leads to child empowerment, so what better way to support your child than by becoming an active part of our community!
Our school was founded upon parent involvement and a “grass roots” approach to creating a creative, diverse, and continuously improving educational environment. As we continue to grow and evolve, we want to keep this tight-knit sense of community, which can be fostered through your participation and volunteering.
Read on to consider opportunities that fit you and your lifestyle and personality. Start small and work your way up to getting more involved. The best way to begin is to attend a PTO meeting on the first Tuesday of every month!
- Working parents who prefer weekend volunteering opportunities
- Dig in the Dirt Days (beautification, gardening, handiwork)
- Fall Fest (Oct)
- Holiday Parades (Dec)
- MLK Jr Parade (Jan)
- Share the Love Gala (Feb)
- Eighth Grade Social (April)
- Local Flavor (May)
- Outgoing parents who want to get to know a lot of people
- Chair an event for PTO or the Board of Directors
- Lead a committee for an event for PTO or the Board of Directors
- Serve as a room parent for their classroom
- Work with PTO and Board of Directors fundraising and partnership chairs to make connections in the community and ask for donation
- Quieter parents who prefer solo activities or volunteering at home
- Research and submit for grants
- Catalog fundraising contacts
- Prepare classroom materials at home, wash rugs, craft preparation
- Prepare items and gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week
- Seek and submit for gala auction items online
- Child-loving parents who want to be hands-on in the classrooms
- Talk to your teacher and/or room parent to identify opportunities to volunteer at in-class events (e.g., holiday celebrations, educational experiences, crafting, etc.)
- Share some inspiration and information with our students about your career/job
- Support our special areas of focus like Music, Art, Fitness, Spanish, Culture and more by making presentations and helping out with unique tasks
- Chaperone field trips
- Organize a class playdate
- Organized parents who enjoy providing administrative support during the week
- Offer help in the school office with copies, filing, organization tasks, and more!
Using the OCPS ADDitions Website
ADDITIONS is the Orange County Public School program and website where you are required to log in your Volunteer Hours.
At the start of each school year, you need to re- apply and be approved by OCPS to be able to volunteer in our schools (includes a background check). If you have any specific questions about the online system, please ask the staff in the front office. Volunteering at school is one of the most important ways to get involved in your child’s education. Volunteers contribute in many ways, including accompanying classes on field trips, helping to make materials, or organizing and participating at events. Parent volunteers get a close-up view of their child’s school. Seeing how children are taught also can give you ideas on how to help your child at home. The school charter requires that families support the school by volunteering their time. Almost every charter school in Florida has this policy, with most requiring 50 or more hours per year. Innovation Montessori Ocoee families are only required to contribute 20 hours per family. If the volunteer hour requirements are not fulfilled, your child will not be permitted to re-enroll in IMO for the subsequent year. Note that it is the parent’s responsibility to record hours online through the OCPS ADDitions website listed above. Only adult family members will be credited with service hours. Younger siblings will not be allowed to accompany parents to the classroom. All volunteer hours must be fulfilled prior to May 15. Please plan accordingly. Remember, this is a commitment of less than seven minutes per school attendance day.
ParentSquare is the primary place for finding and signing up for helping with activities, in the classroom, and also for bringing in donated items. Check ParentSquare regularly for volunteering opportunities. Download the app and visit: www.parentsquare.com
If you need to reach out to the school, make sure to follow their communication plan by reaching out to your child’s teacher first. For more information on the school communication plan, please visit http://innovationmontessori.com/communications/